A snowstorm buries cars in Baltimore, Maryland.
Credit: Bill Swartwout; www.SouthBaltimore.com
Researchers at Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc. (AER) and MIT are taking winter weather forecasting beyond El Niño by investigating the relationship between Siberian snow cover in fall months, and Northern Hemisphere climate variability during the winter. A forecast model developed by AER scientist Judah Cohen has achieved on-target forecasts for major cities in the industrialized countries.
"Weather affects peoples' lives and the global economy on a daily basis," says Anjuli Bamzai, program director in NSF's climate dynamics program. "Improving our ability to predict cold weather and heavy snow has obvious benefits. The success of Cohen's real-time forecasts offers a way to improve our ability to anticipate such important events."
Predicted winter surface temperature anomalies for the United States Dec-Jan-Feb 2016/17 in degrees Fahrenheit. The model is forecasting colder than normal temperatures for much of the Eastern United States, with warmer than normal temperatures for the Western United States. The model uses October Siberian snow cover, sea level pressure anomalies, predicted El Niño/Southern Oscillation anomalies, and observed September Arctic sea ice anomalies. October Siberian snow cover has so far this month advanced at an above normal rate. This is an indication of an increased probability of a weakened polar vortex or a sudden stratospheric warming, and a predominantly negative Arctic Oscillation during the winter and cold temperatures - especially east of the Mississippi. This is a preliminary forecast and not the official winter forecast as the model requires full monthly values for snow cover and sea level pressure anomalies. The forecast will be updated next month. Current forecast produced on October 19, 2016.
Credit: Judah Cohen, AER, Inc.